This month’s ‘Spot a Clock’ is the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum clock, located at 929 East Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is part of the O’Donnell Park complex, and opened in 1995. The clock dial and associated movement have an older history. The clock was previously part of the Everett Street Depot.
The Everett Street Depot was constructed by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (The Milwau-kee Road). The Depot opened in 1887 and remained in service until 1967. A fire damaged the building a week after it closed, and the building was razed in 1968.
Based on Fredrick Shelley’s compilation of tower clocks, the clock movement in the Everett Street Depot was a Howard #3. During demolition, the movement and a dial and hands were saved, and later incorporated into the O’Donnell Park complex.
The Howard movement had been electrified at some point in its history. The clock was restored and placed in a Plexiglas enclosure inside the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, allowing children an opportunity to watch this unique clock in action.
The material originally comprising the center of the dial was likely opaque glass, but was restored with clear glass to provide viewing of the hands and activities along Wisconsin Avenue .
Restoration of the clock and movement was coordinated by Jack Heisler and supported by Chapter 47. A commemorative plaque is located on the north side of the building.